Russian hackers amass 1.2B stolen Web credentials

The hackers collected data on a massive scale, 'so it affects absolutely everybody,' security firm says

Criminals in Russia have amassed a huge database of 1.2 billion stolen user names and passwords and half a billion email addresses, a U.S.-based Internet security company said Wednesday.

The data, believed to be the single biggest horde of stolen Internet identity information ever collected, was garnered from attacks that reached into every corner of the Web and hit around 420,000 sites, said Hold Security.

"Before, we were amazed when 10,000 passwords [went] missing. Now we're in the age of mass production of stolen information," Alex Holden, the company's founder and chief information security officer, told IDG News Service in a telephone interview.

Hold Security didn't identify the websites that were breached, citing confidentiality agreements with clients, but it said they include household names as well as small websites.

The New York Times, which first reported the story, said it hired an independent security expert who verified that the stolen data is authentic.

The sheer scale of the database appears to dwarf similar discoveries in the past. By comparison, the recent theft from Target affected 40 million credit and debit card numbers and 70 million personal records.

That was one of the largest breaches of all time, but the activities of the Russian gang take identity theft to a new level.

"These guys did nothing new or innovative," said Holden. "They just did it better and on a mass level so it affects absolutely everybody."

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags securityHold Securitydata breach

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?